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CommunityWorks launches training and grant program

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CommunityWorks is enrolling Upstate entrepreneurs in a business development course called CommunityWorks Academy.  The 10-month training program designed to help business owners understand, properly manage and grow their businesses from the start-up stage to the retirement stage. The first class for the year is scheduled for Feb. 4.

The CommunityWorks Academy will partner with experts in business operations, accounting, marketing, and leadership to provide education and solutions to some of the common barriers faced by small business owners, according to a news release. Entrepreneurs who complete the program will receive grant money to grow their business.

“The academy fits a gap in the current business training market,” LaTorrie Geer, chief operation officer of CommunityWorks, said in the news release. “We are excited to launch it for the entrepreneurial community. At CommunityWorks, we believe that every entrepreneur should be equipped with the tools, knowledge and resources needed to be successful and we are pleased to consistently develop avenues to help business owners.”

Academy classes will be held monthly at the Spark Center in Duncan. Topics for the 2020 academy include managing business credit, accounting tips, marketing strategy development, business law, handling human resource needs, retirement and succession planning.

The inaugural class is open to 30 participants and registration ends Jan. 31. To qualify for participation, businesses should have been in operation for at least six months and have a business plan. Registration is available online.

CommunityWorks was established in 2008 as a local housing trust fund through a partnership between the city of Greenville, United Way of Greenville County and Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. The organization has generated more than $157 million in local economic impact and has provided 30,000 hours of training and coaching and provided more than $2.6 million in loans to startups and existing small businesses, according to the release.

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